tv Face the Nation CBS March 16, 2014 8:30am-9:01am PDT
from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> schieffer: today on "face the nation." breaking news on ukraine and the mystery of malaysian air flight 370. it's been more than a week since the plane vanished but authorities now say they know why the plane went off course. and it wasn't an accident. >> this is consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane. >> schieffer: we'll hatch the latest from malaysia and our team of cbs aviation, including sully sullenberger. then ask the chairman of the house intelligence committee, mike rogers, who he knows about the plane's disappearance. then we'll turn to the other big story, the vote today in crimea and the crisis over ukraine.
what can the u.s. and our allies do if russian president vladimir putin tries to annex the former soviet state. we'll hear from former obama national security advisor tom done lone and a panel of experts about that and the other developments. 60 years of years because this is "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs >> schieffer: good morning again as i said earlier there is breaking news now on ukraine have agreed in a phone call according to the russian ministry, to seek resolution to the ukrainian crisis through what the news release says, is constitutional reform in ukraine. that is the sum total of our knowledge of this, it just came
over the wires, our state department correspondent margaret brennan has on this. what have with you able to find out? >> this is based off of press release from the russian foreign ministry reading out a ten call between lavrov and kerry that just happened. it's the first time that we've seen any sign of diplomatic give on of the part of russia that's why there is some excitement. u.s. officials, u.s. diplomates say this is a longer term process, this doesn't seem to be an immediate solution. what we do know was put on the table in the past few days was this proposal from ukraine that they would give more autonomy to crimea. maybe give more protection to minorities language rights, tax reform there. that however would need to also be considered on an all ukraine basis not just the vote you're seeing happen in crimea today. but ukrainian is constitution requires the whole country to vote. these are being put on the table immediately today u.s. officials are urging caution here that this does not mean there's an
immediate deal but we're still working on it. >> schieffer: does it appear that they may be stepping back just a bit from the break? >> it's the first sign of any give on any diplomatic front. also that announcement of sort of a pause in terms of dealing with ukrainian military until the 21st. that is a key date. because that is when the russian is set to review this proposal to formally annex. might see some movement in the next few days, something sort of an neck station but it doesn't like like putin is pulling back. >> schieffer: we'll give you chance to get back on the phone see what other details you can turn up on this. we'll cover this as the details come in. now we want to go to the other big story, that is the latest developments on that missing malaysian jetliner. today authorities tell us they have expanded the search area even further, soetoro ng doan is in kuala lumpur this morning as the latest on that.
>> good morning to you, the search expanded by sea and by air, it is now also expanding significantly on land as well. investigators are increasingly looking at the people on board that plane over the weekend police searched the homes of the pilot and copilot. inside the pilot's home they found a flight simulator which they confiscated and now investigators are evaluating that. also ground staff and engineers, anyone who had contact with that plane are now caught up in questioning and caught up in this investigation. this as the malaysian prime minister over the weekend said that he believes that evidence pointed to a deliberate act, someone on board that plane deliberately cutting the communication system of that plane. we also learned that the plane may haven from much further than we originally understood. prime minister said the last signal from the plane came to a satellite seven and half hours after it took off.
authorities have distributed a map that shows two arcs almost two giant corridors from which that satellite ping might have come. one stretching in a northern direction from northern thailand through western china all the way to chaz then in the southern arc stretching past indonesia well out in to the very deep southern indian ocean. this of course, bob, expands this search from 14 countries to 25. >> schieffer: all right. thank you so much. seth. and joining us now from san francisco, retired u.s. air captain sully sullenberger who made that mir rack lucas landing is our cbs news aviation expert here with us two, more experts. former head of the national transportation and safety board, who is now a cbs news analyst. and security analyst and our
own. >> schieffer: orr who has been recovering this. you were making the point awhile ago the more we get in to this the largest the area they're searching. you were saying, we're now searching an area that goes from sa -- kazakistan down to australia. >> looking for a plane that looks large within you see it but connected next to the indian ocean just a speck. look, a week after this plane went missing nobody can tell us with any authority where it went or why it went where it did. and now it's just a painstaking process where patience is going to be required for people that want answers. >> schieffer: sully, walk us through this thing. we're now told that they're investigating the pilot and the copilot. why has the investigation in your view taken that turn? >> bob, this is all one of the most remarkable episodes in the
entire aviation his terry we're not by any means close to the end much it yet. but the aviation industry never willingly tolerates this level of ambiguity. you can be assured that great efforts, huge sums will be expended to solve this mystery even though it's likely to take months or years. absent finding the airplane, having physical evidence to look at, absent finding analyzing what's on the recorders, they have to look in every other way. old fashioned detective work trying to piece together this very puzzling situation. >> schieffer: you were an investigator, mark, what should they be looking for now. why is it they are just now getting around to looking in to the backgrounds of pilots? >> this is an extraordinary situation as sully said. we have not seen this kind of investigation held ever at least in the history that i have been involved in it. we need to see everything. since this is now becoming more a look at criminal or
terrorist-type of activity rather than accident and still accident is not off the table until we find a debris field, until we find a site where in fact the aircraft is on the ground. we do not know anything other than the kinds of information which has been provided us and provided unfortunately very late in the game by the malaysian government. we learned something this morning which we should have learned much earlier. from the malaysian airlines they told us that this had the appropriate amount of fuel, not any more. when you figure six and a half hours to get to beijing then add some in for the at site, then add 45 minutes in case you needed it in emergency we're looking at anywhere between eight and eight and a half hours. that should have begun the process of trying to figure out where we might be looking during that period of time. >> schieffer: sully, one of the things we have, we now seem to know that the plane at one point went to 45,000 feet, which is beyond where this aircraft should be going.
and then went down to as low as 25,000 feet. how would you explain that? what does that suggest? >> there are no operational reasons that i can think of that would explain it. there are reasons that one might end ip in that situation but again i have no knowledge of what their motivation might have been of who was actually in control of the airplane and their level of skill or why these excursions would have taken place. >> schieffer: or maybe nobody was in control. >> i think the evidence from satellite and radar, bob, seems to show that somebody was playing the airplane for quite along period of time. that it changed course, changed altitude. this didn't look like an airplane completely out of control by any means. the thing that you have to remember here is while we can't point to the pilots, you can't point to a hijacking or a rogue pilot act, what i think we can say is whoever disabled those systems, if it was done intentionally. whoever changed the course that
have airplane flew to a spot where they knew they had no radar coverage there was some level of knowledge, sophistication how that plane worked how you want to go about being undetectable. >> schieffer: mark, how is it that if this plane was, let's say, hijacked or fit was going through all these contortions wouldn't we have heard something from somebody's cell phone on that airplane? >> certainly not the cell phones. they don't work at that altitude. what i am really discontinued about is once this transition was not captured by the vietnamese, once they in fact saw some kind of a turn and flying over malaysia for more than an hour, perhaps as much as an hour and ten to 15 minutes, why was the malaysian air force? where were they not come up, do interception and try to figure out what was going on. this is absolutely extraordinary to have an airliner fly over that area without the malaysian air force trying understand what
it was. >> schieffer: sully, could it be -- this is just conjecture and -- the pilots were trying to steal this airplane or somebody was trying to steal it and fly it to some point? it just -- i don't understand anything about this. >> many of the possibilities verge on a spy novel kind of situation. we simply don't know. those things that you mentioned are theoretically possible. the real frustration is that we are learning more about this as mark and bob have said, very late in the process. and with the passage of time it makes variability in the search much greater. it makes it much harder ultimately to find out what really did happen. >> schieffer: bob, do you think it's possible we may never find this wreckage? may never find this? >> if you asked me that a week ago, i would say we'd trace the debris back to the wreckage field. i think as time goes on with an area this large to search, i think it is possible, as hard as
it is to believe that we may never find the plane f. we don't find the plane, don't find conclusive analytical evidence there is chance we might not know. >> schieffer: i want to thank all l of you this morning. thank you captain sullenberger go now to indianapolis where the chairman of the house in tell generals commit tie, mike wrongers is standing by. mr. chairman, have you been briefed, what about u.s. intelligence agencies are they playing any part in this or have they been brought in to it in any way? >> sure, you might expect that we want to find out exactly there there was terrorist nexus or something other to ride rise to national security. just in the discussion you had with your panel now we're creating a big matrix to the plausible to the probable. nothing has gotten to the probable quite yet. meaning they are still investigation to be had. you'll have to do thorough investigation on everyone on the
airplane to make some determination. very fact that may have gone over malaysia, i don't think that's really conclusive, now you have a whole new wing of this investigation that has to open that will take an intense amount of time and may lady to the biggest dead end yet may be at the bottom of the indian ocean. a lot of folks that i talk to leave that's probably the most likely, the most probable circumstances that in fact it is at the bottom of the indian ocean. but you cannot quite yet rule out everything else because we don't have the physical evidence we need to come to that conclusion. >> schieffer: you are an old fbi agent before you were a member of congress and chairman of the intelligence committee. is there any doubt in your mind at this point that this was a criminal act? >> you know, from everything i see it's all built on speculation. by the way, bob, that phrase, old fbi agent concerned me a little bit. >> schieffer: i'm an old
"face the nation" moderator. older one than you are. >> you add up the plausible fact points, certainly would lead an old invest gator to say there is a lot more to that portion. story which is why they seized the flight simulator not that it was unusual that the pilot had a flight simulator want to go through find out, were you playing some scenarios on that particular flight simulator that might match up to some at activity on your flight path. all that have will be done through really intense forensic investigation to try to determine was therely planning f. you're go tg fly over a country that we know have radar, you're going to try to do it in way that saves the aircraft or crashes the aircraft, there is a lot of planning that has to happen. if there was more than one involved there is that conspiracy trails means that people have to talk to each other. all of those are potential gaps for our fbi agents and others who are involved in this
investigation. maybe lash an intelligence and police services to fill in those holes. it's all small. it's all -- going to take time. >> schieffer: the fact that he had his own flight simulate or as it were in his house it does open up new possibilities as you suggest. what exactly was that all about? let me shift to ukraine. you heard earlier this late breaking news that the russian foreign ministry cities that secretary of state kerry and the russian foreign minister have agreed to settle this thing through constitutional reform of some sort in ukraine. what did you make of that? >> well, we've seen this movie before. we should be cautious. i want to now exactly what was offered in exchange. right now russia is feeling unique set of pressures other than international community, it's their economy starting to suffer. russia is so dependent on energy as the propping up their economy, any disruption in that, this i disruption in that cash
flow has serious and real consequences. if this was just to buy russian's time i'm concerned. if this was truly an effort to allow the rove wren dumb to happen, so that they have the strength and negotiation with ukraine, the government of ukraine, that's whole different story. if the united states needs to take a pretty strong stand in relationship with our eu partners, now would be the time o ramp some of that up as we get to those discussions. if we don't, it's the relief the pressure on the pressure that the russians need to continue to do and solidify their hold on crimian peninsula. >> schieffer: yesterday the russian seized an area in ukraine, it is home to natural gas distribution center. this is the first intrusion in to an area outside crimea. how big a concern is that to you? >> well, if you look at the
logical center teaming call areas that they need to hold from airports to communication centers, the parliament, to the military business sees this is that next logical stupp to bake sure that they cannot interfere with the successful delivery of energy to the crimian peninsula. this was in preparation of the vote, meaning that they believe that this vote is going to come out where the russians believe that they're -- the russian population in the crimea is going to vote to go with russia. in order to protect the outcome that have vote i think they needed this strategic hold. this is where natural gas can be delivered in that region. i think the russians believe that was very important to make sure that that wasn't a lever that kiev government could use against the crimian peninsula. that's what you're seeing here. i find it interesting that that happens, you have some low level cyberattacks happening which we've seen russians use in the past. then this notion, we'll have discussion about constitutional
reform in kiev about the crimea peninsula. >> schieffer: you said couple of weeks ago that russian president putin was playing chess and we're playing marbles. do you think he's won this round? >> clearly he has set the table to his advantage in any negotiation going forward. clearly that's happened. the fact that we've had a little bit of fraying in our european relationships diplomatically has caused us real difficulty. so if you're asking me do i think he was -- had the advantage going in to this, yes, i do. which worries me about what was offered up in that phone call, what kind of concessions did the united states offer. did we have a relationship with the eu that would allow us to make those concessions and what are the next few steps. we'll have to learn in that the next few days. but if you look at how this has played out clearly putin has had
the upper hand even though he risks huge economic problems, his popularity domestically has soared he doesn't have a lot of great economic issues going on at home. without this, his popularity is lower, all of those dynamics in putin's mind, that he's ahead as he would walk in to any negotiation with kiev we're playing catch up. >> schieffer: many thanks, mr. chairman. we'll talk to former national security advisor tom donilon when we come back. change engineering in dubai, aluminum production in south africa, and the aerospace industry in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing.
>> schieffer: we're joined now by president obama's former national security advisor tom donilon. thank you so much for coming. you heard this thing that we know so little about, the russian ministry saying that they have greed to settle this through constitutional reform in ukraine. secretary kerry and foreign minister lavrov. >> i'd be very cautious at this
point. it's been on the table far awhile including during the course of the prime minister of ukraine's visit this week. on the table, offer to discuss the situation. offer to discuss arrangement and russian interest. but that is going to require the russians to do couple things including talk directly to ukrainian government. something they haven't been willing to do at this point. >> schieffer: did point out this is the first time that the russians have said anything like this. >> would still require them toe sit down and have a conversation with the interim government they have been willing to do that. this is a set of issues which have been on the table for some time. including by the ukrainian and foreign minister when he was here this week, i'd add, we've seen no sign of the operation in crimea standing down or any way moving with respect what the russians are doing. is executing a black operation. >> schieffer: to the contrary they moved in seized this area outside crimea where these gas
distribution -- >> that's right. chairman roger was exactly right this is part of the overall operation. they fear once referendum goes through today, outcome is pretty much ordained because it's taken police as the full russian operation. crimea is a dependent region. >> schieffer: we make a mistake when we expect president putin to react to situations in the way that those of us in the west might react. but what does he want here and what caused this? >> well, i think, president putin for him these concepts of balance of power, fear of influence, zero sum outcomes, he pursues them. with respect to ukraine he had a big blow. essentially had ukraine reject a move to russia and embrace the move to europe. and he saw real loss and acted to try to the regain leverage in some ability to destabilize.
that's what happened here, bob. it was a real blow to his concept of fear of influencing crew in a, blow to the understand of eurasian union as a counterpoint. that's not just fanciful it's impossible. he's acted here and essentially with a military black operation in crimea bjorn borg i'll ask you to stick around for part two of our product with we want to continue to cover this story with breaking news. we'll talk to him some more in a few minutes. i'll be back in a moment with some personal thoughts. there's a saying around here,
you stand behind what you say. around here you don't make excuses. you make commitments. and when you can't live up to them, you own up, and make it right. some people think the kind of accountability that thrives on so many streets in this country has gone missing in the places where it's needed most. but i know you'll still find it when you know where to look.
>> schieffer: i dreamed i was a fly on the wall friday when secretary of state john kerry moat in lone conwith his russian counterpart sergei lavrov, russian troops were holding war games on the border, tension was building by the minute. kerry was all business in my dream. he'd come to deliver a message to the russian, a message with a -- he got right to the point in clear, unmistakable terms. if the russians turned up the heat any more there would be a
price to pay. the united states was ready to act. oh, yeah, lavrov i hear first thing you're planning to send a huge economic aid package to ukraine. how's that going? is it on the way? actually, it isn't, kerry said, the senate was in a rush to go on vacation and the aid package got bogged down in the senate argument over campaign finance laws and some other stiff. oh, said the russian, so the senate is not as worried about this so-called crisis as you are. absolutely not so, said kerry. kerry assured everyone the aid package is the very first thing the senate will deal with when they get back from vacation, in a week sore so. excuse my limited knowledge of how your government works, lavrov said, but vacation from what? lavrov said, but vacation from what? back in a minute. in the united statesing
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